Sunday, August 27, 2006


Caroline and I had the most delightful dinner the other night at Indochine here with my old friend, the legendary Andrew Loog Oldham, who was in town on a short visit.

I have mentioned the former Rolling Stones producer/manager/Immediate Records honcho and current Sirius Radio DJ (broadcasting all the way from his current home base in Bogota) before in earlier blogs--but really, how best to do justice to this one-man evolutionary/revolutionary absolute force of nature?

Suffice to say, in all my comings and goings doin' time on planet earth, there are only a handful of people in the music business who I can honestly say have struck me as total originals--eccentric, brilliant, larger than life characters the likes of whom I never have before encountered--and most likely, never will again.

Don Van Vliet (a/k/a Captain Beefheart) is one, Vivian Stanshall (Bonzo Dog Band) another, Arthur Russell (minimalist dance/pop genius) a third--and Andrew Loog Oldham? Not being a musician himself (unless you count the Andrew Loog Oldham Orchestra albums, from one of which the sample that fuels The Verve's "Bittersweet Symphony" derives), he stands apart from them, and yet is of them, and in a sense bee/gat them--having almost single-handedly created the conditions under which their art could flourish, by thoroughly shaking up and re-inventing the moribund pop music business from the ground up in the early 60's...

Plus his productions from the Golden Age of the Rolling Stones, including "The Last Time", "Satisfaction", "As Tears Go By", "Get Off My Cloud", "Let's Spend the Night Together", "Paint It, Black", "Mother's Little Helper", and most especially, "Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing in the Shadow", stand as eternal, neo- Wagnerian monuments of magnificent sonic architecture on the Rebellious Jukebox of all time's mind (don't forget, his production company was at one time called Impact Sound)...

Anyway, Andrew was in town to do (amongst other things) a 4 hour interview with Little Steven on working with the Stones for an upcoming Sirius special--and not having seen him for many a year I am delighted to report that he looked absolutely fantastic, immaculately kitted out in a pin-striped summer seersucker jacket on one occasion and dark-jacketed with a baby blue beveled tie worn over a baby blue shirt on another--

and the Loog was in rare form indeed, both at the lunch I had with him earlier this week at Un, Deux, Trois (his former surrogate office/hangout during the on-again off-again times he lived in NYC) and at Indochine--and I can't really do jutice to his manic, scurrillous, nonstop verbal shpritz, which skewered current and ancient sacred pop cows left and right and had me, Caroline, Billboard's Jim Bessman and Andrew's young filmmaker friend rolling on the floor--except to say he delivered like a Gatling gun one hilarious, penetrating pop apercu after another...

Andrews' still got It, in spades...and boy does the world need it, now more than ever--I urge you to please seek out his double-barrelled autobiography "Stoned" and "2Stoned", both volumes of which are available on, and catch his Sirius Radio show from noon to 3pm and 6 to 8pm every Saturday on Little Steven's Underground Garage network there on Sirius Channel 25) lovers, record collctors and pop historians are currently bootlegging airchecks of his show, prizing them as the Grail, and circulating and passing them around like samizdat literaure...



ps another old friend the songwriter, producer and guitarist Jon Tiven and his wife Sally were up from Nashville this week backing their latest collaborator P.F. Sloan on guitar and bass respectively at a showcase for his new album (which Jon produced) at Joe's Pub. P.F. Sloan is the guy responsible for writing (with his then partner Steve Barri) such fondly recalled classics as "Secret Agent Man" and the eternal "Eve of Destruction", and he was making a rare live appearance in NYC, his first in many years, in support of his new album (he was in good voice, and his band was rocking, with alternating drummers, including Dennis Diken from The Smithereens). Jon (who's written hits for Buddy Guy and Robert Cray among others) and Sally both looked great Quite a few folks came to check this gig out--including former Zoo World editor/ Columbia Records publicity maven Arthur Levy, music writer Billy Altman, Harmonia Mundi's Rene Goiffon and wife just in from Paris, industry vet Bruce Dickinson, fondly remembered Ordinaires drummer Joe Dizney, and Joe's Pub booker and all around good guy Bill Bragin, with whom I shared a smile over the fact that the Dylanesque singer/songwriter in shades only once removed his harmonica holder during his entire hour-plus set...


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